Allen Banks and Staward Gorge was badly damaged during Storm Desmond and unfortunately, remains closed.
The damage resulted in many destabilising landslips, the uprooting of large trees, erosion to the river bank and the much loved wobbly bridge being washed away.
The devastation began in December when Storm Desmond hit the North of England. At Allen Banks the suspension bridge, which had just been rebuilt after being damaged by a storm in 2013, was badly hit and much of it was washed away.
The whole area is thought to be unstable and movement in the land is being seen daily. Rangers are constantly assessing the land and you can keep up to date with any progress via Facebook and twitter.
About Allen Banks and Staward Gorge:
This extensive woodland area of gorge and river scenery, including the 41-hectare (101-acre) Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), has miles of waymarked walks through ornamental and ancient woods.
Largely created by Susan Davidson, Allen Banks has become a fantastic home for nature such as flora, fauna and fungi. It is also well known for its carpet of bluebells and ramsons, commonly known as wild garlic, which covers the woodland floor in spring and early summer.
There's the remains of a medieval pele tower and a reconstructed Victorian summerhouse and ornamental pond during the wonderful woodland walks.
There are also over 70 species of birds that have been spotted at Allen Banks and a number of mammals such as roe deer, dormice, otters and bats.
NB: All woodland area sits within the North Pennines, AONB
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
Free parking until 10am.
Car parking available
Free until 10am
There are picnic benches provided on site
Allen Banks woodland is perfect for dogs to run free
Open all year
, Devon, United Kingdom
Despite the path closure, we did the 3 mile circular walk both sides of the river. Our two dogs enjoyed it too. Lovely woods, super river, amazing coloured water, glades, mad bridge and peace, peace, peace. Would recommend it though my legs did ache at the end of it.
Jenkhumphries, Egremont, United Kingdom
We had an afternoon walk here. We did the 3 mile walk to plankey mill and back to the car park. Some areas are closed but this did not impact our walk. It was quiet and peaceful, bit steep to start with but the return leg was flatter.
lovely walk but not as good since floods
We have been many times to Allan banks and it was our favourite walk. We would travel 90 minutes to get here, and always had a lovely walk. Unfortunately this last visit was after the floods and the walk we did was no where near as good. The floods of Jan 16 have washed away a lot of the loveliness we remembered. No more paddling in pools on the river. I realise it is no ones fault but until the paths are repaired we will probably not be back. Many more steep walks on the new paths.
As hard or as easy as you make it
Edward1951S, Durham, United Kingdom
Despite the storm damage of 2015, Allen Banks and Staward Gorge provides some wonderful walking for all ages and abilities. Stout walking shoes or boots recommended and the paths are not really disability friendly but this Lake District fell walker found enough to interest him and his party. As other reviewers have noted, the only facility is a toilet block so bring your own picnic. We spent a lovely few hours exploring the paths, skimming stones in the river and nature-watching. A buzzard soared overhead whilst Orange Tip butterflies were out in force. We also came across a Slow Worm basking in the sun on one of the paths. A rewarding day out.
A lovely treat
fire21, Cramlington, United Kingdom
We visited with two dogs on a Sunday afternoon. It's pay and display parking but I thought £2 for up to four hours was really reasonable. The path was relatively easy to follow and the dogs loved being off lead in the woodland. Luckily it was a lovely sunny day but the shelter from the trees would make it a nice walk in any weather. It was relatively busy but there are lots of spots just slightly off the main path that would make lovely spots for a picnic. We sat on the rocks at the river for a long while and are going to visit again with some lunch. A lovely afternoon out, I would recommend!